The Xeneon Flex 45 comes packed flat, so when you take it out of the (massive) box, the screen will sit flat. Of course, the first thing I wanted to do – after I had cleared off my work desk to find room for the screen – was to test out the flex feature. Although I was initially a little worried that I would break it, the process of adjusting the curvature is quite simple. The screen comes with hidden (from the front) handles on each side which slide out when you want to make an adjustment. Once the handles click into place it is simply a matter of pulling the sides of the panel toward you to create the curve, or away from you to re-flatten out the screen.
If users so desire, each side can be curved independently, so you can have one side flat and the other curved. For me, it was either one or the other depending on what I was working on. When working from home, the workspace is large enough to have multiple tabs fully open at once without any reduction in productivity. However, if you’re reading this, the gaming aspect is what you’re probably more excited about.
Features and performance
With the Xeneon fully curved (the screen has a maximum curvature of 800R), I found that this helped with immersion for racing games and shooters. Dirt Rally 2.0 looked amazing as I drove across the landscape. With the larger screen size, the 21:9 aspect ratio, and the curved screen, the monitor accentuates the high-speed movement through the windscreen, with the side windows appearing more towards the edges of the curve whilst the Motion Blur Cancelling technology ensures that the visuals are clear even at reasonably high speed. Redfall too - despite some of its initial video glitches and framerate drops which were unrelated to the screen - looked gorgeous, and I found myself being able to pick out enemies much easier than I had with my standard 27” flat screen monitor. The colours are vibrant too, with the Xeneon featuring 10bit RGB colour depth (or just over 1 billion colours).
Although racing games and shooters gain added immersion with the curved panel, this curvature can cause distortion in sports games such as the latest instalments of FIFA or NBA 2K. These games are better played with the Xeneon converted back to a flat screen to ensure that playing fields are straight, or the basket you’re aiming for is directly in front of you. Like when playing Redfall, the wider 21:9 ratio screen did seem to allow me to see more of the field in FIFA, which is definitely an advantage. The 240Hz refresh rate is also certainly encouraging for gamers who play fast-paced competitive games.
As well as working from home with a flat screen, I also found that watching videos and streaming movies and TV shows was also better suited to the flat screen. The Xeneon uses Blue Light technology which provides a safer option for eyes- which is particularly important if you’re watching the screen for long periods of time. The inbuilt audio jack allows users to plug in a good set of headphones to provide a cleaner sound from their favourite show or movie. So, as well as being a not-so-typical monitor, the device can also act as a pseudo docking station for those who have a gaming laptop – or are using the screen in the office. The front of the base features 2 x USB (Type-A) inputs and a 3.5mm headphone jack, whilst the rear features two more USB Type-A ports and four video inputs (1x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C DisplayPort, 2x HDMI 2.1). If you work with a more portable slimline laptop (one that comes with just one or two USB ports), the added USB ports could become an important feature.
The Xeneon Flex does have a couple of downsides, however. Being that the monitor is 45” and has a 21:9 aspect, it is a large device. As such, the screen requires a fair bit of desk acreage. As mentioned earlier, to test it out, I had to completely rearrange my home office to accommodate the large size. However, this did allow me to declutter somewhat, and with the front USB inputs, allowed the Xeneon to act as a pseudo docking station.
Also, I did find that when gaming, I did need to sit back a little further than I normally would, due to the size and the aspect ratio of the screen so that I could see everything at once - even when the screen is fully curved. When working, this was not as much of an issue, as I would normally have two screens anyway. The Xeneon somewhat reduces the need for a second screen as tabs that would normally be on separate screens can be split across the large screen of the Xeneon.
The Corsair Xeneon 45 Flex OLED is the ultimate gaming monitor. The flexibility (pun fully intended) allows the screen to be used in multiple scenarios. Whether you're looking to score some goals in the latest iteration of FIFA on a large flat screen, watch mud splatter over multiple windows as you drive across the country in Dirt Rally 2.0 with the screen curved, or use it for multi-tab productivity in the office, the Xeneon Flex can do it all. The 3440x1440 resolution means that gamers with beefy machines will be able to see everything in superb clarity in the way that developers would want gamers to see their product. The addition of the in-built input connections further adds to the Xeneon's features. Of course, the main downside is the price. At around $3500, this would put it outside the price range of many. But if you have the cash to spare and are in the market for the ultimate gaming monitor, then the Corsair Xeneon 45 Flex OLED Gaming Monitor should be on your radar.
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